It has become a rather normal phenomenon to hear cases of rape, robbery, arson, vehicle theft, etc in the neighborhood. American neighborhoods have become breeding grounds for professional robbers, serial rapists, burglars, etc. Despite large budgetary allocations by the government on the fight against crime, the rate of crime is worrying. Crime has therefore been an issue the American government has fought outcomes for decades. With a government led by a majority of lawyers and with corrupt law enforcement agencies, nothing better is expected. Thus homegrown terrorism is, arguably, posing a greater threat to Americans than terrorism from across borders. It is estimated that, since the year 1964, crime in America has been on a constant rise registering a record increase of over 350% (Drehle, 2010, p. 1). However, the rate of crime has reduced in the past two years (Anderson, 2010, p. 1).
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The rates of crimes in America have led to a lot of insecurity. American families are living in constant fear and people are afraid to take walks in the streets close to their homes for fear of violent crimes and rapes. This situation has led to a lot of public unrest in the quest for an end to the murders and rapes occurring with alarming frequencies in the streets. These crimes are, in part, brought about by another problem that has been a challenge to law enforcement officers for decades: drugs. Drugs are being sold in almost every middle-level neighborhood and the most worrying fact is that drug peddlers are increasingly using school children to reach young markets. This has substantially increased the number of criminals in American neighborhoods since after school children become addicted to drugs they become delinquent and thus they are introduced to the criminal world. The involvement of school children in drug trafficking also leads to disruption of their education, in case of incarceration, and thus they are left unable to secure good jobs due to educational deficiency. This is the reason why most children who are addicted to drugs eventually become criminals. These facts have made American parents live in constant fear of the dangers facing their children and they are forced to take precautionary measures like keeping a close eye on their children to protect them from potential rapists, kidnappers, or even drug traffickers (Anderson, 2010, p. 1).
Homicide is also rampant among American neighborhoods. It is estimated that no 30 minutes pass without a murder in the United States (Drehle, 2010, p. 1). Criminals are in possession of illegal weapons which they use as accessories to armed robberies. This possession of weapons by criminals has also increased the frequency of occurrence of homicides in our neighborhoods since violent robbers are equipped to kill their victims in case they suspect that their victims could help in investigations. Other crimes common in our neighborhoods include property crimes which include arsons, car thefts, etc. Hate crimes are also rampant in American communities. They are motivated by racial differences, differences in sexual orientation, religious differences, etc. Such crimes are common in schools and universities with the most common being crimes motivated by sexual orientation. Elsewhere in the neighborhoods, the most common hate crimes are motivated by racial differences. Let us have a look at the crime statistics by category of crime in Montgomery, Alabama.
In Montgomery, the number of reported violent crimes fell from 450 in 2008 to 433 in 2009. This fall in the levels of violent crime in this city is attributable to the decrease in the number of robberies and aggravated assaults from 222 to 218 and from 191 to 149 respectively (“Uniform Crime Reports”, 2010, p. 1). The fall was experienced despite a rise in the levels of forcible rapes and murders in Montgomery which rose from 25 to 47 and from 12 to 19 respectively (“Uniform Crime Reports”, 2010, p. 1). This is a fact that should attract a lot of concerns from law enforcement agencies since the most serious violent crimes were the ones that rose in Montgomery in 2009. On the other hand, reported property crimes decreased from 5901 in 2008 to 5353 in 2009 (“Uniform Crime Reports”, 2010, p. 1). This was averaged from an increase in the reported cases of motor vehicle thefts and burglary and a decrease in the reported cases of larceny theft. On average, the level of crime in Montgomery fell in the year 2009 as compared to the levels experienced in the year 2008.
Statistics of Crimes in America are evidently alarming. It is estimated that the annual cost faced by America due to crime is to the tune of 675 billion U.S. Dollars. Apart from this, Americans have suffered a lot of psychological costs from the effects that crime has on them. The frequency of occurrence of crimes has led to a lot of insecurity albeit the stated fall in the levels of crime experienced in the years 2008 and 2009. In the first half of 2009, there was an aggregate 4.4 percent decrease of reported violent crimes like murder in the U.S (“Uniform Crime Reports”, 2010, p. 1). Similarly, property crimes registered a fall in the first half of the year 2009. In this category, theft of vehicles, larceny-theft, and burglary are included. Before the release of the statistics, the Department of Justice extrapolated analytical data showing that, if the crime rate before 2008 had persisted, 170000 more Americans would have been killed between 1992 and 2008. This number is greater than that of the Americans killed in the Vietnam, WWI, Iraq, and Korea wars all combined (“Uniform Crime Reports”, 2010, p. 1). This accentuates the need for productive intervention by the government in the war against crime. An investigation should be made to discover the reasons for the fall in the levels of crimes registered in the years 2008 and 2009. This should be followed by setting up strategies to improve the foundations to which the reduction in crime can be attributed.
The problem with the implementation of crime prevention strategies is that no one knows, for sure, a single solution to crime. Police have continually held the opinion that improved police work could help reduce crime, demographics argue that certain strategic changes in the demographics of a community could be helpful in reducing crime levels, some theorists believe that a serious war on drugs could have a positive effect on the fight against crime while Clinton and Bush Administration stagers believe that more police should be hired in order to reduce the levels of crime. Steven Levitt, an economic analyst believes that the legalization of abortion was a huge step in reducing the number of thugs in the U.S. His argument was that some unwanted babies conceived in the 1980s were criminals in the 1990s (Anderson, 2010, p. 1). All the above arguments are equally logical but the solution to the war against crime lies in a balanced combination of these solutions plus one additional solution: a check in the problem of jail overcrowding. It is common knowledge that the building of more prisons to ease the problem of jail overcrowding will lead to the incarceration of more criminals. The incarceration of these criminals will lead to the betterment of their communities since their families and the community at large will be more secure with the violent people locked up in prison.
In the contemporary American Community, there is no haven for crime. Children are abducted from their bedrooms, women get raped in front of their husbands and young girls get abducted and raped at alarming rates. Children get shot in school, other children are beaten to death by fellow students in school, people get shot in their cars, in offices, and in public, etc. One wonders if the war on crime is parallel to the war on climate change (Drehle, 2010, p. 1).
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Although rates of crimes in America have significantly reduced in 2008 and 2009, the most serious crimes like rape and murder are on the rise. This is evidenced by a random consideration of the levels of crimes by category in the Montgomery City of Alabama. There is an urgent need for improvement of the strategic approaches to combating crime in America and a revolution to the law enforcement agencies in the U.S. to ensure that homegrown terrorism has minimal effects on the citizens of America.
Anderson, K. (2010). Crime in America. Web.
Drehle. D. (2010). What’s Behind America’s Falling Crime Rate? Web.
Federal Bureau of Investigations. (2010). Uniform Crime Reports. Web.